I am starting the year of classes with a strong theme of the chakras; the first week will be the root chakra, Muladhara. This is a combination of two Sanskrit words - “root” (Mula) and “base” or “support” (Adhara) and it is the first of the seven chakras. Although the chakras are part of the subtle body and not the physical, the area in which Muladhara is situated is around the coccyx, the pelvic floor at the base of the spine.
Traditionally Muladhara represents your basic needs; survival, safety, family ties, trust and it is the foundation and development of ones personality. When Muladhara chakra is blocked and out of balance, you will bounce from thought to thought, feel needy, insecure with feelings of laziness. When it is flowing freely, your basic needs are met; you feel safe, grounded and have inner peace.
In order to balance your root chakra, there are certain asana (poses) that release unwanted energy and also cultivate fresh energy. They tend to be grounding poses, where you can build a strong foundation so if you’re feeling a little frenzied, these should help. Most asana yoga practices will involve grounding poses targeting the root chakra, but by theming your practice you can draw attention to this which can enhance your time on the mat and usually allow you to feel differently off the mat too. So here are 5 poses that allow you to tap into it…
1. A good starting block is Sukhasana, a seated pose with crossed legs and a long spine. This pose gives you the ability to ground down through you sitting bones and feel a connection to the earth. As you begin to deepen your breathing, soften your jaw, your forehead and allow your fingers to curl in towards the palms (and allow your puppy to cuddle up next to you).
2. Vhirabidrasana means ‘fierce warrior’ and is a grounding and strong pose. It allows you to dig deep into yourself for strength, determination and patience.
3. Malasana. This pose brings you close to the earth, opens your hips and strengthens your back. Take your hands together into prayer and nudge the insides of your knees with your elbows to open the hips a little more.
4. Anjaneyasana gives your psoas and quad muscles a deep opening. These are the largest muscles in the body and are associated with your fight or flight response. Keep your hips active but draw your weight forward and down whilst maintaining breath.
5. Balasana, childs pose. This pose gives you a feeling of surrender; no need to hold up your body, but allow it to be supported by the earth. Breathe into your back body and relax your heart towards the mat, softening through your hips.
Come and join me on the mat this week to tap into the first energy chakra, Muladhara. It will be a strong but grounding practice. Book here to attend my yoga class in Tunbridge Wells.